Washington, D.C., June 20, 2003 The Securities and Exchange Commission today praised House and Senate leaders for expediting passage of H.S. 658 the Accountant, Compliance, and Enforcement Staffing Act of 2003, which will greatly streamline the Commission's efforts to add more than 800 lawyers, accountants, economists and examiners to its staff.
The House of Representatives passed the bill on suspension June 17. The Senate approved the legislation by unanimous consent late yesterday. President Bush is expected to sign the measure into law soon.
"The passage of this legislation will allow the SEC to more quickly hire and assimilate the many new employees needed to fulfill the corporate governance reforms of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and will help the Commission to continue its efforts aimed at increasing investor protection and restoring confidence in our markets," SEC Chairman William Donaldson said. "I want to personally thank Chairman Mike Oxley, Rep. Richard Baker, Rep. Paul Kanjorski, Rep. Barney Frank, Chairman Richard C. Shelby, Sen. Paul Sarbanes, Sen. Mike Enzi, Sen. Chris Dodd, Chairman Tom Davis, Rep. Henry Waxman, Chairman Susan Collins, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Sen. George Voinovich, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert for their leadership and commitment to this important legislation. My appreciation also goes to the National Treasury Employees Union for their help and support with this effort."
The new law will allow the SEC to hire accountants, economists and securities compliance examiners under the excepted service authority, rather than under the federal competitive service process. Under excepted service authority, the hiring process can be completed in a few weeks' time as opposed to the months-long time frame often necessary under competitive service requirements. The SEC and other government agencies hire attorneys under excepted service.